Nairobi News

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Amrouche: My plan was to pair Divock and Olunga in attack

Former Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche says he had a vision of pairing lethal duo Divock Origi and Michael Olunga in the national team’s attack, a combination he believes would have been enough for Kenya ‘to beat all these teams in Africa’.

The Belgian trainer was in charge of the Kenyan national team between 2013 and 2014 and is best remembered for leading Kenya to a 1-1 draw against a star-studded Nigeria side in Calabar in a 2014 World Cup qualifier, and also winning the 2013 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Nairobi.

Five years later, in an interview with Nairobi News, the 51-year-old has left Kenyan football fans salivating over what might have been by sharing details of his plans to improve the national team.

QUEST FOR DIVOCK

“The initial plan was to partner Divock and Oliech in the Afcon qualifiers since Divock was more exposed than Olunga and would fit in easily. I tried my best to get him, even travelling to Belgium and persuading his father. But in the end he choose Belgium and you can understand because he got the opportunity to play at the 2014 World Cup for a top national team,” said Amrouche.

“Olunga was also in my plans,” Amrouche further explained.

TOP STRIKER

“I first noticed him when he was at Tusker and I organized him to move to Thika United so that he could get more playtime. I knew he would take some time but he had something in him. Just imagine if you have these two boys in your team you can beat all these teams in Africa,” he said.

Olunga is currently Kenya’s top striker and one of the best in the continent.

Origi, too, has thrived both for club and country, featuring for Belgium in the 2014 Fifa World Cup and winning the 2018-19 Uefa Champions League title with Liverpool.